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Labour faces real test on 'Treaty principles'

Gerry Brownlee MP
National Party Maori Affairs Spokesman

11 February 2004

Labour faces real test on 'Treaty principles'

National Party Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee says the Labour Government should tell New Zealanders which way it will jump on the Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi Deletion Bill.

"Last year Helen Clark appointed Trevor Mallard to his 'helicopter' position of Race Relations Minister to seek 'assurances' that Labour's policies were based on need not race.

"But in the year that has past he has done virtually nothing, except issue lists of Government departments that were conducting their own internal reviews.

"Not surprisingly, most have given themselves a clean bill of health and we're still seeing Government jobs advertised seeking those with knowledge of 'the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi'.

"Labour was never serious about putting an end to the Treaty grievance industry. In fact, Labour has added fuel to the gravy train with things like the clumsy legislation on the foreshore and seabed.

"Only last weekend Michael Cullen was confirming Labour's view that there is no clear end in sight for the settlement process. "The Treaty Principles Deletion Bill is a test of whether Helen Clark meant what she said last year or whether it was empty talk with no intention of following through.

"This is a test of Helen Clark's credibility. New Zealanders should watch with interest to see whether she puts her money where her mouth is," says Mr Brownlee.

Ends

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